Tuesday, December 12, 2006

December 12th - 13th: The Long So-Long

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2006 08:21 PM, PST

Parent’s and Keith’s Note:

Keith and I decided that for tonight’s journal entry we would test your powers of observation. For those of you familiar with the popular children’s series “I Spy” this will make perfect sense. For those of you that aren’t, you’ll catch on pretty quickly, we’re sure.

Look carefully at the photo of the top of our 'Great Barrier Reef' Christmas tree and see if you can locate the following items. There are many undersea creatures to be found and be assured many more lurk in the branches outside of the field of view of this picture. Go to the photos page and click the link to enlarge the photo.

Good Luck!

A Prickly Blue Puffer
A Jiggly Jellyfish
A Fish with a Brushy Tail
A Colorful Sea Horse
2 Octopi Twins
A Lemon
A Pear (actually a rear view of a cat ornament, but it looks the same)
A Squiggly Orb (looks like a sunburst from the top)
A Green & Red Acorn
An Octopus “Star’
A Lobster
A Golden Pinecone
Corn on the Cob
A White Sheep (rear view)
A Polka-Dot Orb

Sorry, the only prize this time is the satisfaction that comes with completing the challenge.


Parent’s Note:

Keith spent quite some time admiring the lighted tree and shared a long so-long with Kirby this morning just before we headed off to Children’s Hospital. Josie is just recovering from a mild cold and reluctantly stayed at home. So it was just the two of us navigating the registration process, getting situated in a room and spending the remaining day here prepping for Thursday morning’s operation. The primary purpose of being here the day before is to clear Keith’s digestive track. As many of you probably already know there is something called polyethylene glycol and electrolytes solution (PEG), a liquid pleasantly referred to as an ‘evacuant’ that does just that but requires drinking quarts of the stuff. If you have followed this journal you probably also know that drinking medicine is not one of Keith’s favorite things to do. He has been trying his best to get this horrible beverage down but not able to swallow anywhere near as much as the nursing staff wanted him to.

Dealing with this liquid has been so hard for him that his social worker, Heather, actually stopped by and gave him a special courage bead for having to deal with it. He also picked out another special bead in advance for tomorrow’s surgical procedure. These are very beautiful hand blown glass beads donated by glass artists and all very different (I winked and asked if by any chance they had an undiscovered Dale Chihuly bead in somewhere there …..) Most are marble sized with some larger, some smaller. He spent a lot of time sorting through all of the beads and finally picked out a small yellow one with a few red spikes on it. When I asked him why he singled that one out he replied: “Because it is what I think my tumor probably looks like.”

Later the surgeon stopped by to check in on Keith and ask a few questions. Keith had a few for him as well, like “What kind of stitches are you going to use?” and “Do I really have to drink all of this stuff?” Answer 1: I’ll use the kind that melt away on the inside and we won’t need any stitches on the outside – we’ll use a special kind of tape instead. Answer 2: Naw, just drink what you can and if you can’t drink any more that’s ok with me. It was as if the weight of the world had just been lifted from his shoulders. Happily on with the surgery.

Apart from the ‘evacuant blues’ he has been in great spirits and has been wearing his Santa hat on the several occasions we have left the room. He was given a special ‘pass’ to the teen room so he took his favorite video game there and we played it on a large flat screen display where everyone could watch him publicly thrash me as his character pummeled my character over and over. And over. Later we watched a mandolin duet strum a few pieces outside of our room in the hallway.

About the same time Keith heads down to surgery Keith’s grandparents Annie and Don will be boarding a plane to San Francisco. The operation may take somewhere around six hours plus or minus so they might actually be in California before he is out of the operating room. He is very excited to know they will be here soon.

So as they say in the biz, all systems are go. Keith is cool as a cucumber and brave as a….(struggling for an appropriate simile here) a tiger?, a lion?. Not good enough. How about brave as a Keithanator.

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